Kitchen Knife System for Organizing and Storing Clean and Dirty Knives

This simple Pin Inspired project solves the problem of having a safe and organized way to store clean or dirty knives at your kitchen sink.


Simple kitchen utensils work as a storage and organizing system to keep the kitchen knives safely off the counter using a temporary dirty side and a clean side for drying them.

Your good kitchen knives should NOT be put into the dishwasher to clean them. It ruins the blades and handles, shortening the life of kitchen knives (which can be very expensive). To keep your knives sharp and in good shape you have to handwash them, which can be quite a hassle.

My big problem is that I tend to use a knife and then set it aside on the counter to hand wash later. Having knives laying around on your kitchen counter is not safe with little kids running around… plus it looks messy at the kitchen sink.

On the flip side, I had a problem with drying knives safely. I would lay them on a drying mat with my other handwashed (like certain pots and pans, cutting boards, etc. that I usually handwash). Not only did they seem too accessible to little hands, but they would not dry properly laying on the mat… I ended up having to hand dry most of them anyway.

How I did this project:

So I bought two stainless steel kitchen utensil containers and created a very simple system for organizing my kitchen knife cleaning process.

Here are some options that I saw on Amazon that are fairly inexpensive and similar to the ones I used.

On the one side of the sink I placed a kitchen utensil holder and designated it as the “dirty” one. I did not label it, but you could if you wanted to. I placed a piece of papertowel at the bottom of the container to have a soft place for the tips of knives (so leaning on the stainless steel does not dull the tips of the knives).

kitchen knife cleaning storage

When I use a knife I give it a very quick rinse in the sink and then place it into the dirty side utensil holder.  I place a piece of papertowel at the bottom of the container to have a soft place for the tips of knives (so leaning on the stainless steel does not dull the tips of the knives).

On the other side of the sink (where I usually place my clean things to dry) I placed the second utensil holder and designated it the “clean” holder. After I handwash my knives I simply place them into the holder to dry.

I place a folded piece of paper towel at the bottom of this container too to catch any drips and protect the tips of the knives (which I also change out frequently).

drying clean kitchen knives

Its that easy and simple! But this new kitchen knife organizing and storing system for clean and dirty knives has made the whole process of keeping up with handwashing my knives SO much easier. I also really like that they are safely out of the way of my kids.

Pin Inspired Source:

This project was inspired by this Home Organization board on Pinterest 

About the Author: 

Diane is the founder of, a site to share Pinterest inspirations. She is also the founder of Small Business Marketing Tools, a site devoted to marketing and productivity tools for small businesses, and the author of the small business marketing book PR Tools to Toot Your Own Horn and the children's book The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl.

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